Magazine article American Cinematographer

In Memoriam

Magazine article American Cinematographer

In Memoriam

Article excerpt

Robert R. Hoag, ASC, who was a special visual effects cinemalographer at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for 45 years, died April 16 in Los Angeles. He is survived by his wife, Marion, a daughter, Leslie, and a son, Robert, a technician at the MGM Laboratories.

Hoag became an ASC member in 1952 and served several times on the Research and Educational Committee. He retired in 1965 and had been in ill health for several years. Both his artistry and his quiet, unassuming manner won him many friends.

He was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, on April 30, 1908. Emigrating to the United States at the age of 13, he quickly became enamoured of the motion picture industry. When he was offered an opportunity to go to work in the film lab at Universal City, he dropped out of high school and grabbed the job. Later, he was employed at the Roy Davidge Lab in Hollywood, which was one of the few places in the Twenties where process and optical photography were available to the trade.

Hoag worked on MGM's Ben-Hur (1925), and The Single Standard (1929), an early sound film with music and effects but no dialogue for its stars from Sweden, Greta Garbo and Nils Asther. His new boss, John Arnold, ASC, head of the MGM photography department, assigned him as assistant cameraman to many of the finest cinematographers at the studio. In this capacity he worked on College Days (1930) for Leonard Smith, ASC; Flesh (1931) for Arthur Edeson, ASC; The Last of Mrs. Cheney (1931) for William Daniels, ASC; Smiling Through (1932) for Lee Garmes, ASC; and Tugboat Annie (1933) and Sequoia (1934) for Clyde DeVinna, ASC. …

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